Sean + Cat tri out the Pula 70.3 Ironman

Pula, Croatia 70.3 Ironman – 20 September 2015

Sean + Cat at Pula HIM 2015

Cat and Sean at Pula HIM 2015

by Sean Hurst

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum…

I am sitting here basking in the sun in Croatia at the start of a week’s holiday reflecting on the fact that Cat and I completed the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Pula yesterday.

It would be a lie to say that there weren’t a few teething problems organisational-wise for the first race here but any problems were far outweighed by the friendliness and helpfulness of all the staff involved.

The real fun and games however were reserved for the swim. It was clear from before we went in the water (an excellent rolling start rather than the usual mass melée) something wasn’t right with the course buoys which seemed to have slipped their moorings and were doing a little frolic of their own.

After the second leg we seemed to be going back on ourselves rather than heading for the finish line and effectively adding a circle onto a triangle. It was only at the end of the race when we were looking at our official times that they announced that due to strong winds and currents pushing markers buoys massively out of place and many competitors following the wrong route swim times had been voided and they only were counting our bike and run times for the results.

Massively out of place was an understatement as my watch said we’d swum 2.7km for a 1.9km course all in v choppy seas!!

The fun and games continued on the bike leg as there were 25kph+ head and crosswinds for the first 60km. And of course mainly uphill…

We cycled through some beautiful areas passing through numerous small villages where everybody had come out to cheer us on. It was like the Tour de France with young kids eagerly collecting discarded bidons…

The run was a fairly flat 3-loop course around Pula and the Coliseum. The wind died but the sun certainly then came out. Luckily there were aid stations every 2.5km with very welcome hosepipes and sponges!

Cat caught up with me just before the finish and we ran to the finish line together which was inside the 1st century BC coliseum. I was a little worried that she would put a final sprint in the last few metres to beat me. But as it turned out, she had already beaten me as she had been in a later swim wave…